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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16919
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My border/Jack is 5 years old - twice approx. per year, he

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My border/Jack is 5 years old - twice approx. per year, he would be in a corner of the room looking fed up in morning. No amount of encouragement get him to move. About an hour later, he'd be back to normal, eating , walking, I think it must be trapped wind. Two days ago the same and hour later snapped out of it. Today the same, would not move except for WALKIES. Ran chased ball as usual but ate more grass than ever before, AND sat down looking hang dog. Stools are normal. Vomitted white foam and grassy bits. Came home sat hang dog, so I gave a spoon of dog meat from can. Perked him up. Now though, sitting in corner hang dog again.
Can you suggest what this might be.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear that Finnegan has intermittent episodes of refusing to move in the morning and today eating grass and vomiting foam.
I suspect him isolating himself and refusing to move is a response to pain, and in his case it sounds like abdominal pain.
Vomiting foam simply means that he has an empty stomach, foam is a mix of gastroesophageal mucous and air mixed while retching.
Dogs with nausea or gastroesophageal acid reflux often eat grass or foreign material to make themselves vomit. They will often swallow repeatedly and lick things trying to soothe their nausea and acid burn. If they can rid themselves of whatever is irritating their stomach that way then all is good.
But when they are vomiting repeatedly and/or continue to be uncomfortable like Finnegan then we need to stop them from eating any more grass. It becomes a vicious cycle where the more they vomit the more their stomach acid burns their esophagus and the worse they feel.
Possible causes of vomiting and nausea causing grass eating include a change in diet, dietary sensitivities or allergies, or eating things that they should not like too many fatty table scraps or garbage, bones etc. Addison's which is a poorly functioning adrenal gland is another possibility for waxing and waning vomiting and nausea. Other possible causes include metabolic organ failures (kidney or liver disease), pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease or even infiltrative cancers.
Has he eaten anything he should not have recently (toy pieces, bones, garbage)?
Any changes in food or treats?
In his case because he has these symptoms chronically but intermittently organ failure or infiltrative cancers seem less likely.
I would be more suspicious of a food allergy or sensitivity, pancreatitis (increased pancreatic enzyme production), Addison's disease (a poorly functioning adrenal gland) or inflammatory bowel disease.
For now to help decrease the discomfort you can give him acid reducers to try and settle his stomach. Either:
1) Pepcid-ac (famotidine) at a dose of one half of a 10mg tablet per 5 to 10 kilograms of body weight every 12 hours.
OR
2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at a dose of one half of a 10mg tablet per 5 to 10 kilograms of body weight every 24 hours.
These will reduce stomach acid and should help settle his stomach. These can be used long term if necessary as they are very safe.
I'd also pick up his food and water for now. A couple hours after the pepcid you can offer small amounts of water or ice cubes to lick. He's likely thirsty because he vomited but we need to settle his stomach first.
No food for 12 hours. Small amounts of water only.
After his 12 hour food fast then start a bland diet of 1/3 boiled, lean hamburger (or boiled, white, skinless chicken) and 2/3 boiled white rice. Give small meals several times a day. Because his symptoms seem to be in the morning mostly it may help to have a small meal before bed to absorb acid overnight. Feed the bland diet for several days and if he seems better then start mixing in his regular diet and slowly convert him back.
If his vomiting or nausea continues then he may need injectable medication from his veterinarian to get his stomach upset under control.
So watch him for continued vomiting even with the acid reducers, blood in his stool or vomit or a fever (more than 103.5F rectally), a tense painful belly or lack of appetite after his food fast. If any of those occur it is time to seek hands on veterinary care.
Since this has been a repeated problem for him consider whether he has been getting different treats or lots of table food, or have you been feeding a different diet?
If you go back to the original food, stop table food and treats and his discomfort continues even with the acid reducers, fast and bland diet then you may wish to consider using a using a low irritant food, like Hills i/d or Purina Veterinary Diets EN, or a hypoallergenic food such as Hills z/d or Purina Veterinary Diets HA long term. He may have a dietary allergy or a sensitive stomach. It would also be a good idea to have blood tests done as well to make sure there isn't an underlying metabolic problem like pancreatitis or Addison's disease present.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
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